Estate-planning clients! It’s always a good time for a quick check-in.
(1) Have you updated your beneficiary designations for investment accounts, life insurance, and other beneficiary-designated accounts? If you purchased a revocable (living) trust, did you update your trust as your beneficiary (if that is what we planned)? If not, do your beneficiary-designations reflect your current wishes? (Think hard and remember all accounts!) This is one of the easiest things to forget (so easy, that yours truly discovered an errant designation in my own review today!), and can have a serious impact.
(2) Are there any major life changes that might have affected your plan? We endeavor to draft so that your plan is adaptable to things such as births of new children, but other life changes (especially divorce or remarriage) can require review of your documents.
(3) The one area of your document that is most likely to evolve over time: the designation of guardians for your minor children. The “best choice” when you did your documents might not be the best choice now. Have parents aged or suffered health consequences? Have your designated guardians had a change in their own circumstances (births of more children of their own, for instance) that make you want to reconsider? Have your children entered high school or reached an age where there is a premium on nominating a guardian who can keep them in their familiar environs?
(4) Anybody hit the lottery and now have a taxable estate ($11.2 million or above) that you didn’t have when you made your plan? (Seriously, if you won the lottery. You should call. We should be friends!)
For clients we’ve drafted for (either at ALF or Mike’s previous firm), we’re happy to do a check-in call, or even a short meeting, at no additional charge.
Your estate plan was designed to grow with you. And in most circumstances, it can adapt to life’s changes and new joys in your world. But it’s never a bad idea to check in — an ounce of attention, now, can save a great deal of heartache and headache later.